Wednesday, August 20, 2014

It's A Family Business

I know some families may not understand or can't comprehend,  why we choose to do what we do & how we do what we do.  That's OK.   Some may take a big gasp when they see our "normal" schedule ... but ... as for the Haas', we have decided to do this adventure together.  We make it work.  We choose this. We do this as a team. We see this life intertwined with ministry and family a normal, our normal, and one without hesitation, that we are the biggest cheerleaders for!

You see ...

We get to serve.
We get to serve together.
We choose to serve as a team.
We are called to do this together.

Before Chris & I both came on team, into full time ministry roles, we did this for years,  Almost 14 years! This has been our normal since the kids were born.  We were talking recently that we recall Daniel playing in the "pack & play" at 7am while we worked at the church, setting up "mobile church", on Sundays, and his first ministry experience was youth camp at 7 weeks old.  Our kids have seen most area's of the church at work - youth ministry, administration, church planting, outreach, worship, life groups, kids ministries ... they have been there through it all.  Our kids have had the extravagant benefit of seeing ministry at it's rawest forms.   Seeing broken people, just like us, be fully healed, freed and cared for by God's church and God's love.

They get to learn principles of leadership, grace and care from the front lines.

They get to see forgiveness in it's most treasured view - when they mess up and when we mess up.  We practice grace often and freely.

We get to watch God grow talents and passions in our kids that we could have never dreamed of. 

I would not change a thing of choosing to do this as a team with our kids!   I love seeing our kids on the front lines of ministry each week!  We have never allowed our "kids" to be an excuse, to not to serve, or to limit our serving in church. We love having them with us as we love others. They are learning how to care best for others and learning of sacrifice and grace each day. We have always wanted to put deep roots down with our kids to understand the value of serving others, what better place than the church!   After all, Jesus as a child, was found in the temple, "about His Father's business".   It's been a purposed choice to provide a place for our kids (and many others), to serve at church.     We believe that destiny is attached to serving & giving.  We believe that gifts and abilities are developed in each of us as we serve others.  We believe leadership can be developed and given at young ages.   

Over the last 5 years, I can recall weekend after weekend,  Eliana pulling the set-up & tear-down carts in from the Set-Up/Truck Team as we had lots of mobile church prep happening.  Every Saturday morning at 9am, our girl would help unload, set up classrooms, tape down where the tables were located so they can go back to their "correct" place,  then she would do a "walk-thru" the 5 kids classrooms to make sure all the pieces were in place.  I'm sure our girl will one day run the show for mobile churches everywhere!  She's an expert church consultant now at age 9!   She not only got to see the details behind the scenes in preparing the areas, but she learned early her role in helping to prepare the atmosphere by her prayers.  Many weekends she would walk through the halls of our mobile church and pray the greatest of simple but strong, faithful prayers over the families who would enter our doors.  That's something I will never turn my back on!  She understands that God can use her!

We've seen Daniel learn almost every skill needed to run a full worship experience,  and we have seen him gain relationships with leaders in his life that will forever prepare him for ministry that God has ahead.  He is a faithful champion who loves the local church!  Seeing him love God's house and the people of God's house will be forever a part of our heart. The dreams that God has put in him couldn't have taken the form they have if we didn't do this as a team.  I may not understand the "camera functions" or angles they need to capture, nor may I understand the "riff" of a section of a song, but the conversations we have frequently of what God is teaching him through honoring others, caring for others and serving well - I get that!   The plans God has put in his heart as a teen, are a direct result of serving as a child.   He is devoted to his serving times, and loves to see God's love become real to others.  He has big dreams to lead in worship, what we remind him of is that he already is.   

Of course we are proud of our kids and all God is teaching them, but more than those pieces, we are thankful.  Thankful to have the opportunity to have a front row view to see what God can do in them and through them.  Their faith is big.  Their grace for others is relentless.  Their hearts are ready.    

At first when they were little ones, of course - they had no choice to go with us.  They were right alongside us serving as we served.  As time has passed, they want to serve. They want to be at church.  They want to serve.  (I won't even start on this post of the complaints Chris and I receive if we take a weekend and go on vacation - "Mom, I can't miss church. I don't want to miss church!  ... is just a little glimpse).  They want to be in God's house.  They want to be leading people to God's love.

If you are not serving in your local church.  Start. Now.  This weekend. Serve.  Find a way to serve.  Someone is waiting on you to say YES.    Find a way to involve your kids. Bring your family with you.   Bring someone with you. God purposefully created the two greatest forms of community - the family and the church.  God designed these to work in partnership together.  These are the most powerful institutions God has designed. Get on board with His design!

Now get moving  ...

Continuing the family business ...